Saturday, October 15, 2011

Velvet Goldmine

I saw Velvet Goldmine last week. It really blows your mind. It so strange: I hate the costumes and I am not particularly partial towards glam rock but the cinematography is so painfully beautiful that it grabs you. Ewan McGregor (who spent the better part of the 90's in movies either naked or high) is very convincing as Curt Wild (a character based on musician Iggy Pop), even though I prefer his vocal performances in "Down with Love" and "Moulin Rouge" (they are a little bit more polished). He seems actually to have this aura of the crazy bisexual rockstar as much as he has "the wise old man" aura in the third instalment of "Star Wars." The guy is an artist, you can tell by the interviews in the extras for the movie: he enjoys morphing himself to these different personalities. Regretfully, it seems that his talents are underappreaciated in the rom-com dominated Hollywood.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers's character Brian Slade is a bit more polarizing and probably intentionally he is not as likable. Meyer's Slade seems lost and weak. As does Christian Bale's Arthur: I love the actor and there are a couple of really brave scenes but I never got emotionally invested with the character. Something in his desperation is rather repulsive and the "Citizen Kane" framework is a bit too obvious.

The directing and the writing look promising. The social critique theme on sexuality was very masterfully developed. I think I find quite a few references to Judith Butler's theory on the performativity and fluidity of gender. However, this was back in the 1990's before September 11th, before it became fashionable to be ultra right wing conservative in the states. Also probably because it is a British movie "Velvet Goldmine" get so invested in the discourse on the (dis)stability of sexuality. I wish there would be a mainstream movie that takes this approach instead of Brokeback Mountain's "still deep in the closet" one. I hope there enough brave directors and writers out there because "queer" movies get more and more marginalized lately.

Well, that's it for today, there is the Formula 1 qualification in the morning and it's already quite late here in the Low Lands.

No comments:

Post a Comment